12 Reasons Why Your Dog Whining When Chewing Toys

12 Reasons Why Your Dog Whining When Chewing Toys

Many of you wonder about your dog whining when chewing on toys. As a pet parent, I can understand why not knowing why your dog is crying when they’re merely playing with their toys may be concerning.

This occurrence could result from multiple reasons, including their health, teething in young puppies, dental problems, or natural instincts to show emotions such as excitement or asking for attention.

dog whining while playing with his chew toy

Dogs, like humans, are emotional beings and tend to communicate their emotions through certain behaviors and gestures. Whining or crying is one of these means to communicate. This gesture particularly can indicate the following:

1- Dental pain

Your dog may be experiencing some oral pain. Particularly in puppies who are 3 to 6 weeks old, teething can be a painful experience if it does not go smoothly. The problem is a bit more severe for adult dogs as it can indicate signs of certain mouth diseases such as Periodontal disease, Tooth eruption and exfoliation, Tooth root abscess, Tooth dislocation, sudden loss or fracture, and Mouth and tongue cancer. It is essential to closely monitor your pet and check for redness, swelling, abnormal growths, and even bad breath.

If your dog suddenly yelps while chewing on his toy, they may have hurt their jaw or their teeth.

2- Hormonal changes

If an unspayed, intact female dog whines, it may be due to hormonal changes. She might be experiencing a false pregnancy after her “heat” period has ended but was unable to mate or have her eggs fertilized. This results in her forming an attachment to her toys; she will carry them around crying while searching for a place to nest.  The toy will be her make-believe baby. 

Labrador Husky carrying her plushie and crying

3- The toy is a high-value item.

For some dogs, their toys hold immense value, so they will walk around with it, crying for a while before they settle down to play with it. They might be possessive about certain toys; in such cases, they whine about you trying to take it away from them or this is them preventing you from taking the toys away, or they could be scared of losing them.

4- Crying for attention

Sometimes, the dog tends to whine for the owner’s attention. For my pup, it was his way to ask me to play with him. They enjoy it when you’re involved with them during playtime; this is their way of expressing that desire.

5- He wants to bury the toy.

Now, we all know that dogs love to bury and dig; it’s a part of their instincts and a process they thoroughly enjoy. Most dogs look for ground to plant their favorite items, especially if it’s a bone. When they cannot do so, you’ll notice them running around with the toy in their mouth and crying out in frustration.

Siberian Husky trying to bury its chew toy

6- They are excited

When a pooch cannot contain their excitement, you’ll hear it whining. Suppose you got your furry friend a new toy; of course, they would be excited about it, and this is their way of expressing that excitement. You’ll notice them wagging their little tails and looking up at you, waiting to get a hold of the toy eagerly. They may play with or even destroy the toy, but then again, this is how they will communicate. It’s a cry of joy.

7- Self-soothing nature

Your dog, like any human, may be experiencing the blues. Their coping mechanism is keeping their mouth occupied and whining so that they can self-soothe. The toy works like a pacifier does for babies.

They may be going through a period of heat.

Another reason could be for them to control themselves, especially if it’s around new people, as it is possible for them to feel anxious.

Dogs have a more heightened sense of compassion and empathy than humans. He’s whining back at the toy because it sounds like another dog whining. And he’s communicating that he hears the whine and repeats it around as if it were a little puppy.

8- Breed-specific behavior

Your dog could exhibit breed-specific behavior, such as that of a hunting dog. This means that they may have a prey drive. In such cases, dogs play a little make-believe prey game, where the squeaky toys that make sounds are considered prey. They would hunt these toys mimicking small creatures, like rabbits, the same way any hunting dog or wolf would satisfy their instincts.

Another possibility arises when they want to destroy a toy because of their hunting instincts but can not do so. It frustrates them, and they cry when chewing their toys in hopes of trying to rip them apart. They may even be happy because they consider the toy their little wrestling buddy.

9- Possessiveness for a toy

Dogs may or may not have a favorite toy, but they become possessive of it when they form an attachment to the toy. In this scenario, they may start showing aggression or cry because they are afraid of losing their toy or fear you taking it away from them. They become territorial and want to protect it. You should address this behavior and deal with it immediately.

dog laying around while holding  her favorite chew toy in her mouth

10- Hunger

I’m sure you look after your pets exceptionally well and make sure their needs are taken care of, but your dog can get hungry and let out a cry. Often, chewing will confuse them, and they might end up hungry and need clarification as to why they cannot eat their toy.

11- Playing the keep-away game

Your furry friend may be trying to get you to play a game. You act like you’re trying to keep the toy away from them, but don’t do so. It becomes a fun little game for them, and they may let out a few cries during it. Took me a while to figure it out.

12- Anxiety and stress

Underlying anxiety and stress may cause your dog to whine more than usual. Hence, this will cause their chewing behavior to be accompanied by excessive whining in an attempt to feel better.

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